The big race on the Wednesday is the Prince of Wales Stakes.
Here are my thoughts...
DECORATED KNIGHT – Consistent Group 3 performer throughout his 3 and 4yo career when with Roger Varian first & then Roger Charlton but he's taken his form to a whole new level this Season when first winning a decent AW Listed race in early February and then winning a Group 1 in Meydan. He ran 6th (just in front of Deauville) in the Turf on Dubai World Cup night but put in a career best run to take the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup last time out. That's a race Roger Charlton won with Al Kazeem before he won the Prince Of Wales in 2013.
HIGHLAND REEL – Genuine Group 1 performer who has been campaigned at the highest level over 1m4f for the vast majority of his career. Second in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot last year he then went on to win the King George, the Breeders Cup Turf and finish second in the Hong Kong Vase. Something amiss when finishing last in the Dubai Sheema Classic but bounced back to win the Coronation Cup last time out. More likely to run in the Hardwicke Stakes on the Saturday over 1m4f
JACK HOBBS – Finished 2nd behind stablemate Golden Horn in both the Dante and Derby in 2015 before taking the Irish Derby by 5 lengths. He finished that season with a 3rd place finish in the Ascot Champions Stakes and filled the same place in the same race the following year after an injury had kept him off the course for 5 months. He started 2017 with a smooth success in the Dubai Sheema Classic but hasn't run since.
JOHANNES VERMEER – Top 2yo in 2015 but injury has limited his racecourse appearances since to just 3 runs. In two runs this Season he's finished last of 4 behind Minding and 5th of 8 behind Decorated Knight in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last time out. Interesting that connections are persevering with him but he'll need to recapture his 2yo form if he is to have any chance of taking this hot Group 1 race.
MEKHTAAL – French trained 4yo who disappointed in two Group 1 runs last Season after winning a Group 2 race at Deauville. He rounded off his Season with an odds on defeat in a Group 3 but has started this Season in much better form. After a neck second to Cloth of Stars on his debut run he put up a career best run to take the usually informative Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan last time out after a sustained challenge throughout the final furlong.
SCOTTISH – Consistent Group 3 performer who has a second to Highland Reel and a beating of Mutakayyef amongst his 3yo form. About the same level of form as a 4yo but hasn't been seen out since picking up an injury in the Group 1 Caulfied Cup down under last October. His overall profile would suggest he has a bit to find to be competitive at Group 1 level.
ULYSSES – Thrown into the deep end when running in the Derby straight after an 8 length demolition job in a Newbury Maiden he cold only manage 12th there but recovered to take the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. He somehow managed to get himself beaten in a Group 3 on his next start at Windsor before a creditable fourth in the Breeders Cup Turf. He returned to the racetrack this Season with a win from Deauville in the Gordon Stakes at Sandown over this trip and that race has long been a good pointer to the Prince of Wales.
NEZWAAH – One of two fillies currently declared she won a Listed race at Ayr last time out by nearly 4 lengths from an 89 rated rival and will surely be way out of her depth should she run here.
QUEENS TRUST – Her 4th in last years Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot was a springboard to a cracking run in the second half of last Season with a 2nd in the Nassau Stakes, 3rd in the Yorkshire Oaks, 3rd in the Fillies and Mares on Ascot Champions Day and a win in the Fillies and Mares at the Breeders Cup. That marks her down as a very good Group 1 filly so it was very disappointing to see her trail home last of 4 in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York last month. She'll need to bounce back from that if she is to be competitive here.
PRINCE OF WALES SELECTIONS
MY FANCY: ULYSSES
DANGER: JACK HOBBS
EW SHOTS: QUEENS TRUST (20/1)
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